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Personal profile


Dr Emily Don is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Natural Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering at Macquarie University with a focus on teaching in biomedical sciences and research involving zebrafish models of neurodegenerative disease. Emily completed her PhD in the Department of Anatomy and Histology at the University of Sydney.  Her PhD researched focused on the genetic basis of limb development and loss using zebrafish as a model system.  In 2013, she joined the newly formed Motor Neuron Disease Research Centre at Macquarie University to transition into neuroscience research by applying her previous experience in zebrafish models to the field of motor neuron disease research. After increasingly engaging with the developing teaching program in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences, in 2018, Emily was appointed as a lecturer of Professional Practice, reflecting her keen interest in the intersection of research and professionalism. Since then, Emily has continued to pursue her educational specialist goals by convening and leading teaching in a variety of subjects in an innovative and student first approach in the School of Natural Sciences. 


Dr Emily Don empowers students to thrive in studying Medical Sciences by leading teams to create engaging, student first teaching environments. She  first began teaching in 2010 at the University of Sydney. She has diverse teaching interests in subjects ranging from physiology to professionalism in the clinical sciences, anatomy and histology, motor neuron disease and genetics. She has completed the Foundations in Learning and Teaching course and has been awarded an AHEA fellowship. She has recently become the Director of the B.Medical Sciences. She has a keen focus on engaging, online delivery of lecture content combined with on campus tutoring and is currently teaching the following classes:

Unit Convenor -Systems Physiology and Advanced Human Physiology

Guest lecture/tutor:
BIOL3120 -Human Genetics and Evolutionary Medicine
MEDI8001 -Macquarie MD

Teaching and Leadership

As a level C academic, Emily is developing her teaching leadership through continued training and participates in the following teaching leadership activities:

Director of Bachelor of Medical Sciences

Member of the School of Natural Sciences Education Committee

Previous Member of the B.ClinSci Professional Practice working group

Founding Member of FSE T&L Community of Practice

Member of Macquarie University's Teaching and Leadership community of practice

Associate Fellow of Macquarie University's HDR Supervision Framework

Awardee of Higher Education Academy Fellowship

Member B.ClinSci Learning Outcomes review committee

Peer-Reviewer Beginning to Teach program

Research interests

Dr Don has previously developed a molecular toolkit for the generation of zebrafish models of neurodegenerative disease.  Using this toolkit, the team has established several zebrafish models of motor neuron disease and transgenic lines for the in vivo, real time study of the nervous system.  Emily’s research aims to build on that work by developing a molecular toolkit of genetically encoded reporters in order to study the development and aging of the nervous system and the pathology of neurodegenerative disease in zebrafish models.

Research student supervision

Associate Supervisor

-Natalie Scherer, PhD
-Andres Vidal-Itriago, PhD
-Sarah Hajama, MRes2

Previous students

-Nicholas Kakaroubas, MRes2, Primary Supervisor
-Maddy Tym, MRes2
-Alison Hogan, PhD
-Jack Stoddart, PhD

Community engagement

Ex-President and Founding Member of the FMHHS EnCouRage network for ECRs. Current liasion between FSE and EnCouRage

Previous Member Executive Group of the Macquarie University Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research

Previous Member Philantropy Group of the Macquarie University Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research

Previous State Representative for the Australia and New Zealand Cell and Developmental Biology society

Previous Internal Contact for Franklin Women Academic Partner with MQ Health

External positions


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